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The Splitting the Rent Formula
Courtesy of New York magazine.
This article originally ran in February 2013.
When sharing an apartment or group house, it only seems fair that those in bigger rooms should pay a higher share of the rent. But, how do you factor in features like more windows, a fireplace, or a bigger closet?
Miller Samuel’s Jonathan Miller (who used to do an amazing job analyzing the DC market) takes a stab at how to calculate a fair rent split in an article for New York magazine.
For the article, Miller looks at a two-bedroom apartment with a rent of $3,200 a month.
Miller advocates for dividing the rent by square footage as proportionally as possible. In the example given, room A is 225 square feet, while room B is 175 square feet; this breaks down to a 9/7 ratio. By our calculations, that comes to $1,800 for roommate A and $1,400 for roommate B. (Roommate A is responsible for 56.25 percent of the rent, and roommate B for 43.75 percent.)
If one bedroom has an attached bathroom, said Miller, that should be worth about 2 percent of the monthly rent, or $64 in the example. In the article, room B has a bathroom, so the divide changes: roommate A pays $1,736, and roommate B pays $1,464.
From there, other square-footage adding amenities, like a bigger closet or a terrace, need to be factored in. Miller offers a few equations to help crunch the numbers in a fair manner. After that, various life-enhancing amenities may warrant slight adjustments. For example, a fireplace might with worth about $25 dollars more a month.
While this approach may require you breaking out the TI-82, the fairness of the final result may ultimately mitigate tensions among roommates. Readers, how do you go about dividing up the rent?
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This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/first_timer_primer_splitting_the_rent/6702.
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